Jack lay in his bed, attempting to sleep after his long day at school. But despite his tiredness, all he could do was toss and turn before he got up and walked downstairs.
He’d only meant to get a snack, thinking that it would help him sleep, but his legs seemed to have a mind of their own. They led him to his basement, and shuffled down the stairs.
As his legs guided him through his basement, he became aware of an itch in his head. He needed to do something, but what was it? What he needed to do became clear when his legs relinquished control in front of his workshop.
Jack was torn between going back to bed, or entering the workshop and finding out what he needed to build. Curiosity got the better of him, and he proceeded through the doors. When the lights flickered on, he was greeted by the familiar sight of old tools, broken electronics, and his creations.
It had been at least a year since he had stepped in there, and it showed. Cobwebs hung from the cabinets, and a solid coating of dust covered everything. A ghost of a smile appeared on his face as he remembered the good times he had in here; making his first “bot” with his dad, carving a piece of wood into a crude statue and tinkering with old electronics.
Wiping off his working space, he sat down at his stool, and suddenly, it was like he was in the backseat of his own body. His body knocked over the supplies buckets, and set to work. An image appeared in Jack’s head, and he started to decipher it by building it. His hands flew at impossible speeds, bending metal, melting glass into the right shape and a couple of times, he simply held a circuit board and it reassembled itself.
This went on for a seemingly endless amount of time before his hands slowed down. They were still tinkering away, making small adjustments to the object, but he could feel himself slowly climbing back into the driver’s seat.
When he finally had control of his body again, Jack stared at his creation in horror. He inspected it and found that he had somehow created a helmet – a somewhat futuristic one at that – out of broken electronics.
The horror faded away once he realized what he had done – he made it using a new super power! Jack carefully slid the helmet onto his head, and found himself literally looking at his workshop in a new light. Where there had once been shadow was now lit up as if the sun itself was in the room. Looking at his clock, he found that all he had to do to zoom in on an object was focus on it.
Unfortunately, that was where the wonders ended for now. A voice in Jacks head said that there was more to come, and all he had to do is wait. Taking the helmet reluctantly off his head, he put it away in the locker beneath his desk, and locked it.
The weariness from earlier came back even stronger now that his itch was gone, and he barely made it to his room before he passed out.
“I think I have that technoplasty thing,” Jack told Max at lunch the next day.
“It’s called technopathy,” Max corrected. “And why do you think you have it?”
He explained what happened last night, and Max’s eyes widened in surprise when Jack described the helmet.
“You made a super helmet?”
Jack nodded and Max whistled.
“Imagine the things you could do!” He said excitedly. “A tank, a suit of armor, a laser gun… the possibilities are limitless! Hey, can you make me something?” Max added after his near monologue.
“When I get home, I’ll try to build something cool for you.”
“Why wait until you get home? You’ve got power development next, right?”
“Yeah, so?” From what he had gathered, Jack figured that power development was basically just them using their powers under supervision.
“Do you think they’d let me use the workshop?” He asked, once he realized what Max was getting at.
“Don’t know, but if they pair you up with Mech, you probably could.”
“Mech? Is he a techy super, too?” Jack wondered aloud.
“Yeah, and he’s real laid back, too. I’ll ditch my Death Traps, and meet you at the workshop,” Max said as they got up to leave.
“Okay, I’ll see what I can do.”
As luck would have it, Jack was the only tech super in the class, so Mech was put together with him. Once they were free to go, he told Mech that he was going to the workshop so he could use his powers. No one said anything as he lead Mech to the workshop to “practice” his powers.
The workshop at the school was enormous compared to his puny room in the basement. This had every tool imaginable and buckets of supplies. Jack thought he was in heaven as his mind raced with the possibilities. Then he saw the dumpster, full of discarded electronics and he knew he was in heaven.
Max stepped up next to him and clapped him on the back. “Take a good, long, hard look, Jack, because we’re going to be spending a lot of time in here.”
Jack couldn’t wipe the smile off his face. “The only question I have is what to build first.”